1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Virginia
VIRGINIA, one of the more N. of the S.E. Atlantic states of the United States of America, lying between latitudes 36° 30′ and 39° 30′ N., and longitude 75° 15′ and 83° 40′ W. It is bounded on the N.W. by Kentucky and West Virginia, the irregular boundary line following mountain ridges for a part of its course; on the N.E. by Maryland, from which it is separated by the Potomac river; on the S. by North Carolina and Tennessee, the boundary line being nominally a parallel of latitude, but actually a more irregular line. Virginia has an area of 42,627 sq. m., of which 2365 sq. m. are water surface, including land-locked bays and harbours, rivers and Lake Drummond. The state has a length of about 440 m. E. and W., measured along its S. boundary; and an extreme breadth N. and S. of about 200 m.
Physical Features.—Virginia is crossed from N to S. or N.E. to S.W. by four distinct physiographic provinces. The easternmost is the Coastal Plain Province, and forms a part of the great Coastal Plain bordering the S.E. United States from New York Harbour to the Rio Grande. This province occupies about 11,000 sq. m. of the state, and is known as “Tidewater Virginia.” After the plain had been raised above sea-level to a higher elevation than it now occupies, it was much dissected by streams and then depressed, allowing the sea to invade the stream valleys. Such is the origin of the branching bays or “drowned river valleys,” among which may be noted the lower Potomac, Rappahannock, York and James rivers. Chesapeake Bay itself is the drowned lower course of the Susquehanna river, to which the other streams mentioned were tributary previous to the depression which transformed them into bays. The land between the drowned valleys is relatively flat, and varies in height from sea-level on the E. to 150–300 ft. on the W. border. Passing westward across the “fall-line,” the next province is the Piedmont, a part of the extensive Piedmont Belt reaching from Pennsylvania to Alabama. This is the most extensive of the subdivisions of Virginia, comprising 18,000 sq. m. of its area, and varying in elevation from 150–300 ft. on the E. to 700–1200 ft. along the foot of the Blue Ridge at the W. The sloping surface is gently rolling, and has resulted from the uplift and dissection of a nearly level plain of erosion developed on folded, crystalline rocks. Occasional hard rock ridges rise to a moderate elevation above the general level, while areas of unusually weak Triassic sandstones have been worn down to form lowlands. W of the Piedmont, and like it consisting of crystalline rocks, is the Blue Ridge, a mountain belt from 3 to 20 m. in breadth, narrowing toward the N., where it passes into Maryland, and broadening southward toward its great expansion in W. North Carolina and E. Tennessee, where it is transformed into massive mountain groups. In elevation the Blue Ridge of Virginia varies from 1460 ft. at Harper's Ferry, where the Potomac river breaks through it in a splendid water-gap, to 5719 ft. in Mt. Rogers, Grayson county. About 2500 sq. m. of the state are comprised in this province. W. of the Blue Ridge is the Newer Appalachian or Great Valley Province, characterized by parallel ridges and valleys developed by erosion on folded beds of sandstone, limestone and shales, and comprising an area of about 10,400 sq. m. in Virginia. The belts of non-resistant rock have been worn away, leaving longitudinal valleys separated by hard rock ridges. A portion of this province in which weak rocks predominate gives an unusually broad valley region, known as the Valley of Virginia, drained by the Shenandoah river, and the headwaters of the James, Roanoke, New, and Holston rivers, which dissect the broad valley floor into gently rolling low hills. At the N., near the mouth of the Shenandoah, the valley is about 250 ft. above sea-level, but rises south-westward to an elevation of more than 1600 ft. at the S. boundary of the state.
The rivers of the state flow in general from N.W. to S.E., across the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain, following courses which were established before erosion had produced much of the present topography. But in the Newer Appalachians the streams more often follow the trend of the structure until they empty into one of the larger, transverse streams. Thus the Shenandoah flows N.E. to the Potomac, the Holston S.W. toward the Tennessee. A part of this same province, in the S.W. part of the state, is drained by the New river, which flows N.W. across the ridges to the Kanawha and Ohio rivers in the Appalachian Plateau. In the limestone regions caverns and natural bridges occur, among which Luray Cavern and the Natural Bridge are well known. The drowned lower courses of the S.E. flowing streams are navigable, and afford many excellent harbours. Chesapeake Bay covers much land that might otherwise be agriculturally valuable, but repays this loss, in part at least, by its excellent fisheries, including those for oysters. In the S.E., where the low, flat Coastal Plain is poorly drained, is the Great Dismal Swamp, a fresh-water marsh covering 700 sq. m ., in the midst of which is Lake Drummond, 2 m. or more in diameter. Along the shores of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are low, sandy beaches, often enclosing lagoons or salt marshes.
Fauna.—Till about the middle of the 18th century the bison and the elk roamed the W. part of the state. The Virginia deer is common in the bottom lands; a few beaver still frequent the remoter streams; in the higher portions are still a few black bears and pumas, besides the lynx, the Virginia varying hare, the woodchuck, the red and the fox squirrel and flying squirrels. The grey squirrel is plentiful in wooded districts. On the Coastal Plain are the musk-rat, the eastern cotton-tail, chipmunk, grey fox, common mole and Virginia opossum. In colonial times the Atlantic right-whale was killed in some numbers off the coast.
Many species of water and shore birds migrate along the coast, where also others breed, as the royal, common and least terns and black skimmer; practically all the ducks are migrant species, though the wood-duck breeds. Swan, geese and brant winter on the coast. The yellow-crowned night-heron and the little blue heron nest rarely. The turkey-buzzard and the barn-owl are resident. Red-headed and red-bellied woodpeckers, orchard orioles, yellow winged sparrows, the cardinal, the blue grosbeak, the Carolina wren and the mocking-bird are characteristic of the lower elevations. The ruffed grouse and wild turkey are found in the wooded mountainous districts, while the quail (here called “partridge”) is a game bird of the open stubble fields.
Of reptiles, the rattlesnake and copperhead are the only poisonous species, but numerous harmless varieties are common. In the salt marshes of the coast occurs the diamond-backed terrapin. Trout abound in the mountain streams, and black bass in the rivers of the interior. The cat-fish grows to a large size in the sluggish rivers. On the coast, the striped bass, sea-bass, drum, sheepshead, weakfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are important as food fishes. There are valuable oyster fisheries in Chesapeake Bay.
Flora.—The Coastal Plain of Virginia is covered with pine forests which merge westward with the hard woods of the Piedmont Belt, where oaks formerly prevailed, but where a second growth of pine now constitutes part of the forest. Even on the Coastal Plain the Jersey and oldfield pines of to-day replace more valuable species of the original growth. The Blue Ridge and Newer Appalachian regions are covered with pine, hemlock, white oak, cherry and yellow poplar; while that portion of these provinces lying in the S.W. part of the state still contains valuable forests of hickory and walnut, besides oak and cherry. On the Coastal Plain the cypress grows in the Dismal Swamp, river birch along the streams, and sweet gum and black gum in swampy woods. Other characteristic plants of the Coastal Plain are the cranberry, wild rice, wild yam, wax myrtle, wistaria, trumpet flower, passion flower, holly and white alder. Many of these species spread into the Piedmont Belt. Rhododendron, mountain laurel and azaleas are common in the mountains. The blackberry, black raspberry, huckleberry, blueberry, wild ginger and ginseng are widely distributed.
Climate.—The climate of Virginia is generally free from extremes of heat and cold. In the Coastal Plain region the temperature is quite stable from day to day, as a result of the equalizing effect of the numerous bays which indent this province. The mean winter temperature is 39.8°, the mean summer temperature 77.2°, with a mean annual of 58.6°. Killing frosts do not occur before the middle of October, nor later than the last part of April. In the Piedmont Province temperature conditions are naturally less stable, owing to the distance from the sea and to the greater inequality of surface topography. In autumn and winter sudden temperature changes are experienced, though not frequently. The mean winter temperature of this province is 35.8°; mean summer temperature, 75°; mean annual, 55.9°. Killing frosts may occur as early as the first of October and as late as the last of May. The greatest variability in temperature conditions in the state occurs in the Blue Ridge, Newer Appalachian Provinces, where the most rugged and variable topography is likewise found. The mean winter temperature for this section is 33.8°; mean summer temperature, 71.3°, mean annual, 53.2°.
Soil.—Marshy soils are found along the lowest portions of the Coastal Plain, and are exceedingly productive wherever reclaimed by draining, as in portions of the Dismal Swamp. Other portions of the Coastal Plain afford more valuable soils, sandy loams overlying sandy clays. On the higher elevations the soil is light and sandy, and such areas remain relatively unproductive. The crystalline rocks of the Piedmont area are covered with residual soils of variable composition and moderate fertility. Passing the high and rugged Blue Ridge, which is infertile except in the intervening valleys of its S.W. expansion, we reach the Newer Appalachians, where fertile limestone soils cover the valley floors. The Valley of Virginia is the most productive part of the state.
Forests.—The woodland area of Virginia was estimated in 1900 at 23,400 sq. m., or 58% of the area of the state. The timber area originally comprised three divisions: the mountain regions growing pine and hard woods and hemlock; the Piedmont region producing chiefly oaks with some pine; and the lands below the “Fall Line,” which were forested with yellow pine. Most of the pine of the mountain region has been cut, and the yellow pine and hard woods have also largely disappeared. The production of timber has, however, steadily increased. In 1900 the value of the product was $12,137,177, representing chiefly yellow pine.
Fisheries.—Oysters are by far the most valuable of the fisheries products, but, of the 400,000 acres of waters within the state suitable for oyster culture, in 1909 only about one-third was used for that purpose. Next in importance were the catches of menhaden, shad, clams, squeteague and alewives; while minor catches were made of crabs, croaker, bluefish, butter fish, catfish, perch and spotted and striped bass.
Agriculture.—Tobacco was an important crop in the earlier history of the colony, and Virginia continued to be the leading tobacco-producing state of the Union (reporting in 1850 28.4% of the total crop) until after the Civil War, which, with the division of the state, caused it to fall into second place, Kentucky taking the lead; and in 1900 the crop of North Carolina also was larger. The state's production of tobacco in 1909 was 120,125,000 ℔, valued at $10,210,625.
The production of Indian corn in 1909 was 47,328,000 bus., valued at $35,023,000; of wheat, 8,848,000 bus., valued at $10,175,000; of oats, 3,800,000 bus., valued at $2,052,000; of rye, 184,000 bus., valued at $155,000; of buckwheat, 378,000 bus., valued at $287,000; the hay crop was valued at $8,060,000 (606,000 tons). The amount of the cotton crop in 1909 was 10,000 500-℔ bales.
The value of horses in 1910 was $34,561,000 (323,000 head); of mules, $7,020,000 (54,000 head); of neat cattle, $20,034,000 (875,000 head); of swine, $5,031,000 (774,000 head); of sheep, $2,036,000 (522,000 head).
Minerals.—The value of all mineral products in 1908 was $13,127,395. By far the most valuable single product was bituminous coal ($3,868,524; 4,259,042 tons). The existence of this mineral in the vicinity of Richmond was known as early as 1770, and the mining of it there began in 1775, but it was practically discontinued about the middle of the 19th century. The most important coalfields of the state lie in the Appalachian regions in the S.W. part of the state, though there are also rich deposits in the counties of Henrico, Chesterfield and Goochland, and in parts of Powhatan and Amelia counties. In the S.E. portion of the Kanawha basin, including Tazewell, Russell, Scott, Buchanan, Wise and Lee counties, occur rich deposits of coal, which are of great value because of their proximity to vast deposits of iron ores. In Tazewell county is the famous Pocahontas bed, which produces one of the most valuable grades of coking and steam coal to be found in the United States. There are remarkably rich deposits of iron ore in the Alleghanies, and the W. foothills of the Blue Ridge, from which most of the iron ore of the state is procured, are lined with brown hematite. Iron-mining—perhaps the first in the New World—was begun in Virginia in 1608, when the Virginia Company shipped a quantity of ore to England; and in 1619 the Company established on Falling Creek, a tributary of the James river, a colony of about 150 iron-workers from Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Sussex, who had established there several ore-reducing plants under the general management of John Berkeley of Gloucester, England, when on the 22nd of March 1622 the entire colony, excepting a girl and a boy, were massacred by the Indians. The first blast-furnace in the colony seems to have been owned by Governor Spotswood, and was built and operated at the head of the Rappahannock river about 1715 by a colony of German Protestants. Immediately after the War of Independence Virginia became an important iron-producing state. The industry waned rapidly toward the middle of the 19th century, but was renewed upon the discovery of the high-grade ores in the S.W. part of the state and the development of railway facilities. The product of iron ore in 1908 was 692,223 long tons, valued at $1,465,691 The product of pig-iron in 1908 was 320,458 long tons, valued at $4,578,000.
Manganese ore-mining began in Virginia in 1857 in the Shenandoah Valley, and the product increased from about 100 tons in that year to about 5000 tons (mined near Warminster, Nelson county) in 1868 and 1869. Thereafter Virginia and Georgia supplied most of this mineral produced in the United States, and the greater part of it has been shipped to England. Between 1885 and 1891 the average annual production was about 15,000 tons, the greatest output—20,567 tons—being mined in 1886. After 1891 the product declined rapidly, amounting in 1907 to 800 tons valued at $4800.
In the production of pyrite, which is found in Louisa county and is used for the manufacture of sulphuric acid employed in the treatment of wood pulp for paper-making and in the manufacture of super phosphates from phosphate rock, Virginia took first rank in 1902 with an output valued at $501,642, or 64.7% of the total yield of this mineral in the United States; and this rank was maintained in 1908, when the product was 116,340 long tons, valued at $435,522. Limestone is found in the region west of the Blue Ridge, and has been quarried extensively, the product, used chiefly for flux, being valued in 1908 at $645,385.
Virginia was by far the most important state in 1908 in the production of soapstone, nearly the whole product being taken from a long narrow belt running north-east from Nelson county into Albemarle county; more than 90% of the output was sawed into slabs for laundry and laboratory appliances. The product of talc and soapstone in 1908 was 19,616 short tons, valued at $458,252.
The value of mineral waters produced in 1908 was $207,115. The state has many mineral springs occurring in connexion with faults in the Appalachian chain of mountains; in 1908, 46 were reported, making the state third among the states of the United States in number of springs, and of these several have been in high medical repute. At 18 of these resorts are situated, some of which have at times had considerable social vogue. White Sulphur Springs, in Greenbrier county, impregnated with sulphur, with therapeutic application in jaundice, dyspepsia, &c.; Alleghany Springs, in Montgomery county, calcareous and earthy, purgative and diuretic; Rawley Springs in Rockingham county, Sweet Chalybeate Springs in Alleghany county, and Rockbridge Alum Springs in Rockbridge county, classed as iron springs and reputed of value as tonics, and the thermal springs, Healing Springs (88° F.) and Hot Springs (110° F.), both in Bath county are noted medicinal springs.
The value of metals produced in 1908 was as follows: gold (which is found in a belt that extends from the Potomac river to Halifax county and varies from 15 to 25 in. in width), $3600 (174 fine oz. troy); copper, $3312 (25,087 ℔); and lead, $1092 (13 short tons). Minerals produced in small quantities include gypsum, millstones, salt and sandstone, and among those found but not produced (in 1902) in commercial quantities may be mentioned allanite, alum, arsenic, bismuth, carbonate, felspar, kaolin, marble, plumbago, quartz, serpentine and tin. Asbestos was formerly mined in the western and south-western parts of the state. Barytes is mined near Lynchburg; the value of the output in 1907 was $32,833, since which date the output has decreased.
Manufactures.—Virginia’s manufacturing establishments increased very rapidly in number and in the value of their products during the last two decades of the 19th century. The number of all establishments increased from 5710 in 1880 to 8248 in 1900; the capital invested from $26,968,990 to $103,670,988, the average number of wage-earners from 40,184 to 72,702, the total wages from $7,425,261 to $22,445,720, and the value of products from $51,770,992 to $132,172,910. The number of factories increased from 3186 in 1900 to 3187 in 1905, the capital invested from $92,299,589 to $147,989,182, the average number of wage-earners from 66,223 to 80,285, the total wages from $20,269,026 to $27,943,058, and the value of products from $108,644,150 to $148,856,525. The manufacture of all forms of tobacco is the most important industry; the value of its products in 1905 was $16,768,204. Since 1880 there has been a rapid development in textile manufacture, for which the water power of the Piedmont region is used. A peculiar industry is the grading, roasting, cleaning and shelling of peanuts.
Transportation and Commerce.—Four large railway systems practically originate in the state and radiate to the S. and W.: the Southern railway, with its main line traversing the state in the direction of its greatest length leaving Washington to run south-west through Alexandria, Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Danville to the North Carolina line, with connexions to Richmond and a line to Norfolk on the east; the Atlantic Coast line with its main lines running S. from Richmond and Norfolk; the Seaboard Air line, having its main lines also running to the S. from Richmond and Norfolk; the Norfolk & Western crossing the state from east to west in the southern part with Norfolk its eastern terminus, passing through Lynchburg and leaving the state at the south-western corner at Bristol, and the Chesapeake & Ohio crossing the state from east to west farther north than the Norfolk & Western from Newport News on the coast through Richmond to the West Virginia line. Of more recent construction is the Virginian railway, a project of H. H. Rogers, opened for traffic in 1909, which connects the coal region of West Virginia with Norfolk, crossing the southern part of the state from E. to W., and is designed chiefly for heavy freight traffic. The N.W. part of the state is entered by the Baltimore & Ohio, which has a line down the Shenandoah Valley to Lexington. Connexion between Richmond and Washington is by a union line (Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac and Washington Southern railways) operated jointly by the Southern, Atlantic Coast line, Seaboard Air line, Chesapeake & Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore & Ohio railways. In 1850 there were 384 m. of railway in Virginia; in 1880, 1839 m., and in 1890 it had nearly doubled, having increased to 3,359.54 m., a gain coincident with the newly awakened industrial activity of the Southern States and an era of railway building throughout this section. The railway mileage in 1900 was 3,789.58, and in January 1909 it was 4,348.53.
Hampton Roads at the mouth of the James river, which forms the harbour for the leading ports of the state, Norfolk and Newport News, affords one of the best anchorages of the Atlantic coast. It gives shelter not only to vessels plying to its adjoining ports but serves as a harbour of refuge for shipping bound up or down the Atlantic coast, and is frequently used for the assembling of naval fleets. There is a large foreign trade and a regular steamship service to Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia and Savannah from Norfolk, and there is a considerable traffic on Chesapeake Bay, the Rappahannock, York, James and Elizabeth rivers. Fredericksburg at the head of navigation on the Rappahannock and West Point on the York have traffic of commercial importance in lumber and timber, oysters and farm produce, cotton and tobacco especially being shipped in coast wise vessels from West Point. Petersburg and Richmond on the James are connected with regular steamship lines with Norfolk, Richmond’s water trade being chiefly in coal, oil, logs and fertilizer. Steamboats plying on Chesapeake Bay connect Alexandria with Norfolk. From the Elizabeth river on which Norfolk is situated lead the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal and the Dismal Swamp Canal, which connect with the waters of Albemarle Sound. Traffic through these canals consists chiefly of forest products, logs, lumber and shingles.
Population.—The population of Virginia in 1890 was 1,655,980; in 1900, 1,854,184; and in 1910, 2,061,612. Of the total population in 1900, 1,173,787 were native whites, 19,461 were foreign-born, 660,722 (or 35.7% of the total population) were negroes, 354 were Indians, 243 were Chinese and 10 were Japanese. The state was fifth among the states and Territories in the number of negro inhabitants, but showed a marked decrease in the ratio of negroes to the total population in the decade from 1890 to 1900, the percentage of the total population in 1890 having been 38.4.
Of the inhabitants born in the United States 53,235 were natives of North Carolina, 12,504 were natives of Maryland, and 10,273 were natives of Pennsylvania. Of the foreign-born 4504 were Germans, 3534 were natives of Ireland and 3425 of England. Of the total population 52,264 were of foreign parentage (i.e. either one or both parents were foreign-born) and 9769 were of German, 8235 of Irish and 4792 of English parentage, both on the father’s and on the mother’s side. Out of the total of 793,546 members of religious denominations in 1906, more than half, 415,987, were Baptists; the Methodists numbered 200,771; and there were 39,628 Presbyterians, 28,700 Roman Catholics, 28,487 Protestant Episcopalians, 26,248 Disciples of Christ, and 15,010 Lutherans. Virginia in 1900 had 46.2 inhabitants to the square mile. The principal cities of the state are: Richmond (the capital), Norfolk, Petersburg, Roanoke, Newport News, Lynchburg, Portsmouth and Danville.
Government.—Virginia has had six state constitutions: the first was adopted in 1776, the second in 1830, the third in 1851, the fourth in 1864, the fifth in 1869, and the sixth, the present, in 1902. Amendments to the present constitution may be proposed in either house of the General Assembly, and if they pass both houses of that and the succeeding General Assembly by a majority of the members elected to each house and are subsequently approved by a majority of the people who vote on the question at the next general election they become a part of the constitution. A majority of the members in each house of the General Assembly may at any time propose a convention to revise the constitution and, if at the next succeeding election a majority of the people voting on the question approve, the General Assembly must provide for the election of delegates. To be entitled to vote one must be a male citizen of the United States and twenty-one years of age; have been a resident of the state for two years, of the county, city, or town for one year, and of the election precinct for thirty days next preceding the election; have paid, at least six months before the election, all state poll taxes assessed against him for three years next preceding the election, unless he is a veteran of the Civil War; and have registered after the adoption of the constitution (1902). For registration prior to 1904 one of four additional qualifications was required: service in the army or navy of the United States, of the Confederate States, or of some state of the United States or of the Confederate States; direct descent from one who so served; ownership of property upon which state taxes amounting to at least one dollar were paid in the preceding year; or ability to read the constitution or at least to show an understanding of it. And to qualify for registration after 1904 one must have paid all state poll taxes assessed against him for the three years immediately preceding his application, unless he is a veteran of the Civil War; and unless physically unable he must “make application in his own handwriting, without aid, suggestion or memorandum, in the presence of the registration officers, stating therein his name, age, date and place of birth, residence and occupation at the time and for two years next preceding, whether he has previously voted, and, if so, the state, county and precinct in which he voted last”, and must answer questions relating to his qualifications.
Executive.—The governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of agriculture are elected for a term of four years, every fourth year from 1905, and each new administration begins on the 1st of February. The governor must be at least thirty years of age, a resident of the state for five years next preceding his election; and, if of foreign birth, a citizen of the United States for ten years. He appoints numerous officers with the concurrence of the Senate, has the usual power of vetoing legislative bills, and has authority to inspect the records of officers, or to employ accountants to do so, and to suspend, during a recess of the General Assembly, any executive officer at the seat of government except the lieutenant-governor; he must, however, report to the General Assembly at its next session the cause of any suspension and that body determines whether the suspended officer shall be restored or removed.
Legislature.—The General Assembly consists of a Senate and a House of Delegates. The Constitution provides that the number of senators shall not be more than forty nor less than thirty-three, and that the number of delegates shall not be more than one hundred nor less than ninety. Senators and delegates are elected by single districts (into which the state is apportioned once every ten years, according to population), the senators for a term of four years, the delegates for a term of two years. The only qualifications for senators and delegates are those required of an elector and residence in their districts; there are, however, a few disqualifications, such as holding certain offices in the state or a salaried Federal office. The General Assembly meets regularly at Richmond on the second Wednesday in January of each even-numbered year, and the governor must call an extra session on the application of two-thirds of the members of both houses, and may call one whenever he thinks the interests of the state require it. The length of a regular session is limited to sixty days unless three-fifths of the members of each house concur in extending it, and no extension may exceed thirty days. Senators and delegates are paid $500 each for each regular session and $250 for each extra session. Any bill may originate in either house, but a bill of special, private or local interest must be referred to a standing committee of five members appointed by the Senate and seven members appointed by the House of Delegates, before it is referred to the committee of the house in which it originated. The governor’s veto power extends to items in appropriation bills, and to overcome his veto, whether of a whole bill or an item of an appropriation bill, a two-thirds vote in each house of the members present is required, and such two-thirds must include in each house a majority of the members elected to that house. Whenever the governor approves of the general purpose of a bill, but disapproves of some portion or portions, he may return the bill with his recommendations for amendment, and when it comes back to him, he may, whether his recommendations have been adopted or not, treat it as if it were before him for the first time.
Judiciary.—The administration of justice is vested principally in a supreme court of appeals, circuit courts, city courts and courts of a justice of the peace. The supreme court of appeals consists of five judges, but any three of them may hold a court. They are chosen for a term of twelve years by a joint vote of the Senate and the House of Delegates. The court sits at Richmond, Staunton and Wytheville. The concurrence of at least three judges is necessary to the decision of a case involving the constitutionality of a law. Whenever the docket of this court is crowded, or there is a case upon it in which it is improper for a majority of the judges to sit, the General Assembly may provide for a special court of appeals, to be composed of not more than five nor less than three judges of the circuit courts and city courts, in cities having a population of 10,000 or more. The state is divided into thirty judicial circuits and in each of these a circuit judge is chosen for a term of eight years by a joint vote of the Senate and the House of Delegates. The jurisdiction of the circuit courts was extended by the present Constitution to include that which, under the preceding Constitution, was vested in county courts, and the principal restriction is that they shall not have original jurisdiction in civil cases for the recovery of personal property amounting to less than $20. Similar to the circuit court is the corporation court in each city having a population of 10,000 or more; the judge of each of these corporation courts is chosen for a term of eight years by a joint vote of the Senate and the House of Delegates, and he may hold a circuit as well as a corporation court. Circuit courts and corporation courts appoint the commissioners in chancery. Three justices of the peace are elected in each magisterial district for a term of four years. There are also justices of the peace (elected) and police justices (appointed) in cities, and in various minor cases a justice’s court has original jurisdiction, either exclusive or concurrent with the circuit and corporation courts. In each city having a population of 70,000 or more a special justice of the peace, known as a civil justice, is elected by a joint vote of the Senate and the House of Delegates for a term of four years.
Local Government.—Each county is divided into magisterial districts, varying in number from three to eleven. Each district elects a supervisor for a term of four years, and the district supervisors constitute a county board of supervisors, which represents the county as a corporation, manages the county property and county business, levies the county taxes, audits the accounts of the county, and recommends for appointment by the circuit court a county surveyor and a county superintendent of the poor. Each county also elects a treasurer, a sheriff, an attorney and one or more commissioners of the revenue, each for a term of four years, and a clerk, who is clerk of the circuit court, for a term of eight years. The coroner is appointed by the circuit court for a term of two years. Each magisterial district elects, besides a supervisor and justices of the peace, a constable and an overseer of the poor, each for a term of four years. The Constitution provides that all “communities” with a population less than 5000, incorporated after its adoption, shall be known as towns, and that those with a population of 5000 or more shall be known as cities. In each city incorporated after its adoption, the Constitution requires the election in each of a mayor, a treasurer and a sergeant, each for a term of four years, and the election or appointment of a commissioner of the revenue for an equal term; that in cities having a population of 10,000 or more the council shall be composed of two branches; that the mayor shall have a veto on all acts of the council and on items of appropriation, ordinances or resolutions, which can be overridden only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each branch; and that no city shall incur a bonded indebtedness exceeding 18% of the assessed value of its real estate.
Miscellaneous Laws.—A married woman may manage her separate property as if she were single, except that she cannot by her sole act deprive her husband of his courtesy in her real estate. A widow is entitled to a dower in one-third of the real estate of which her husband was seized at any time during coverture. If the husband dies intestate, leaving no descendants and no paternal or maternal kindred, the whole of his estate goes to his widow absolutely. If the husband dies intestate, leaving a widow and issue, either by her or by a former marriage, the widow is entitled to at least one-third of his personal estate; if he leaves no issue by her, she is entitled to so much of his personal estate as was acquired by him by virtue of his marriage with her prior to the 4th of April 1877; if he leaves no issue whatever, she is entitled to one-half of his personal estate. A widower is entitled by courtesy to a life interest in all his wife’s real estate; if she dies intestate, he is entitled to all her personal estate; if she dies intestate, leaving no descendants and no paternal or maternal kindred, he is entitled to her whole estate absolutely. The causes for an absolute divorce are adultery; impotency; desertion for three years; a sentence to confinement in the penitentiary; a conviction of an infamous offence before marriage unknown to the other; or, if one of the parties is charged with an offence punishable with death or confinement in the penitentiary, and has been a fugitive from justice for two years; pregnancy of the wife before marriage unknown to the husband, or the wife’s being a prostitute before marriage unknown to the husband. One party must be a resident of the state for one year preceding the commencement of a suit for a divorce. When a divorce is obtained because of adultery, permission of the guilty party to marry again is in the discretion of the court. Marriages between whites and negroes and bigamous marriages are void. The homestead of a householder or head of a family to the value of $2000 and properly recorded is exempt from levy, seizure, garnishment or forced sale, except for purchase money, for services of a labouring person or mechanic, for liabilities incurred by a public officer, fiduciary or attorney for money collected, for taxes, for rent or for legal fees of a public officer. If the owner is a married man his homestead cannot be sold except by the joint deed of himself and his wife; neither can it be mortgaged without his wife’s consent except for purchase money or for the erection or repair of buildings upon it. The exemption continues after his death so long as there is an unmarried widow or an unmarried minor child. The family library, family pictures, school books, a seat or pew in a house of worship, a lot in a burial ground, necessary wearing apparel, a limited amount of furniture and household utensils, some of a farmer’s domestic animals and agricultural implements, and the wages of a labouring man who is a householder are exempt from levy or distress. A law enacted in 1908 forbids the employment of children under fourteen years of age in any factory, workshop, mercantile establishment, or mine within the state, except that orphans or other children dependent upon their own labour for support or upon whom invalid parents are dependent may be so employed after they are twelve years of age, and that a parent may work his or her own children in his or her own factory, workshop, mercantile establishment or mine.
Charitable and Penal Institutions.—Virginia has four hospitals for the insane: the Eastern State Hospital (1773), at Williamsburg; the South-Western State Hospital (1887), at Marion; the Western State Hospital (1828), with an epileptic colony, at Staunton; and the Central State Hospital (1870; for negroes), at Petersburg. For the care of the deaf and blind there is the Virginia School for Deaf and Blind (1839), at Staunton, and the Virginia School for Coloured Deaf and Blind Children (1908), at Newport News. The State Penitentiary is at Richmond. The Prison Association of Virginia with an Industrial School (1890) at Laurel Station, the Negro Reformatory Association of Virginia with a Manual Labour School (1897) at Broadneck Farm, Hanover, and the Virginia Home and Industrial School for white girls (1910) at Bon Air take care of juvenile offenders; these are all owned and controlled by self-perpetuating boards of trustees, but are supported by the state, receiving an allowance per capita. For each state hospital for the insane there is a special board of directors consisting of three members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate, one every two years, and over them all is the commissioner of state hospitals for the insane, who is appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate for a term of four years. The members of the special boards under the chairmanship of the commissioner constitute a general board for all the hospitals, and the superintendent of each hospital is appointed by the general board. Each school for the deaf and blind is managed by a board of visitors appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate. About five-sixths of the convicts are negroes. Some of them are employed on a state farm at Lassiter, Goochland county, on which there is a tuberculosis hospital, and some of them on the public roads; in 1909 there were 350 men at the state farm, 14 road camps with about 630 men, and 1273 men and 96 women in the penitentiary at Richmond. When a prisoner has served one-half of his term and his conduct has been good for two years (if he has been confined for that period) the board of directors may parole him for the remainder of his term, provided there is satisfactory assurance that he will not be dependent on public charity. The Prison Association of Virginia, the Negro Reformatory Association of Virginia and the Virginia Home and Industrial School for girls are each under a board of trustees appointed by the General Assembly, and each is authorized to establish houses of correction, reformatories and industrial schools. A general supervision of all state, county, municipal and private charities and corrections is vested by a law enacted in 1908 in a board of charities and corrections consisting of five members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate.
Education.—The public free school system is administered by a state board of education, a superintendent of public instruction, division superintendents, and district and county school boards. The state board of education consists of the governor; the attorney general; the superintendent of public instruction, who is ex officio its president; three experienced educators chosen quadrennially by the Senate from members of the faculties of the University of Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the State Female Normal School at Farmville, the School for the Deaf and Blind, and the College of William and Mary; and two division superintendents, one from a county and one from a city, chosen biennially by the other members of the board. This board prescribes the duties of the superintendent of public instruction and decides appeals from his decisions; keeps the state divided into school divisions, comprising not less than one county or city each; appoints quadrennially, with the concurrence of the Senate, one superintendent for each school division and prescribes his powers and duties; selects textbooks; provides for examination of teachers; and appoints school inspectors. In each county an electoral board, consisting of the attorney for the Commonwealth, the division superintendent and one member appointed by the judge of the circuit court, appoints a board of three school trustees for each district, one each year. The division superintendent and the school trustees of the several districts constitute a county school board. The elementary schools are maintained from the proceeds of the state school funds, consisting of interest on the literary fund, a portion of the state poll tax, a property tax not less than one mill nor more than five mills on the dollar, and special appropriations; county funds, consisting principally of a property tax; and district funds, consisting principally of a property tax and a dog tax. A law enacted in 1908 encourages the establishment of departments of agriculture, domestic economy and manual training in at least one high school in each congressional district. A law enacted in 1910 provides a fund for special aid from the state to rural graded schools with at least two rooms. With state aid normal training departments are maintained in several of the high schools in counties which adopt the provisions of the statute. All children between the ages of eight and twelve years are required to attend a public school at least twelve weeks in a year (six weeks consecutively) unless excused on account of weakness of mind or body, unless the child can read and write and is attending a private school, or unless the child lives more than two miles from the nearest school and more than one mile from an established public school wagon route. The State Female Normal School, at Farmville, is governed by a board consisting of the state superintendent and thirteen trustees appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate for a term of four years. The Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute, at Petersburg, is governed by a board of visitors consisting of the superintendent of public instruction and four other members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate for four years. In 1908 the General Assembly made an appropriation for establishing two state normal and industrial schools for women, one at Harrisonburg and the other at Fredericksburg, both under a board of trustees consisting of the superintendent of public instruction and ten other members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate. The Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, at Blacksburg, is governed by a board consisting of the state superintendent and eight visitors appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate. The Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, is governed by a board of visitors consisting of the adjutant general, the superintendent of public instruction and nine other members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate. The University of Virginia (q.v.), at Charlottesville, was founded in 1817 and opened in 1825. The College of William and Mary (1693), at Williamsburg, became a state institution in 1906 and is likewise governed under a board appointed by the governor. Other institutions of higher learning which are not under state control are: Washington and Lee University (nonsectarian, 1749), at Lexington; Hampden-Sidney College (Presbyterian, 1776), at Hampden-Sidney; Richmond College (Baptist, 1832), at Richmond; Randolph-Macon College (Methodist Episcopal, 1832), at Ashland; Emory and Henry College (Methodist Episcopal, 1838), at Emory; Roanoke College (Lutheran, 1853), at Salem; Bridgewater College (German Baptist, 1879), at Bridgewater; Fredericksburg College (Presbyterian, 1893), at Fredericksburg; Virginia Union University (Baptist, 1899), at Richmond; and Virginia Christian College (Christian, 1903), at Lynchburg.
Finance.—Revenue for state, county and municipal purposes is derived principally from taxes on real estate, tangible personal property, incomes in excess of $1000, wills and administrations. deeds, seals, lawsuits, banks, trust and security companies, insurance companies, express companies, railway and canal corporations, sleeping-car, parlour-car and dining-car companies, telegraph and telephone companies, franchise taxes, poll taxes, an inheritance tax and taxes on various business and professional licences. The tax laws require that property shall be assessed at its full value by commissioners of the revenue elected by counties and cities. The revenue is collected by county and city treasurers, clerks of courts, and the state corporation commission, consisting of three members appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the General Assembly in joint session. The total receipts in the fiscal year 1908–1909 amounted to $5,536,510 and the total disbursements to $5,796,980. By the 1st of January 1861 Virginia had incurred a debt amounting to nearly $39,000,000, principally in aid of internal improvements. She was unable to pay the interest on this during the Civil War, and in March 1871 the principal together with the overdue interest amounted to about $47,000,000. The General Assembly passed an act at that time for refunding two-thirds of it, claiming that the other third should be paid by West Virginia. But the advocates of a “forcible readjustment” of the debt carried the election in 1879 with the aid of the negro vote, and after prolonged negotiations in 1892 a settlement was effected under which a debt amounting to about $28,000,000 was again refunded. In 1908 this had been reduced to about $24,000,000. The sinking fund consists of damages recovered against defaulting revenue collectors, railway stock and appropriations from time to time by the legislature.
History.—Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in North America. From 1583 lo 1588 attempts had been made by Sir Waller Raleigh and others to establish colonies on the coast of what is now North Carolina. The only result was the naming of the country Virginia in honour of Queen Elizabeth. But glowing accounts were brought back by the early adventurers, and in 1606 an expedition was sent out by the London Company, which was chartered with rights of trade and settlement between 34° and 41° N. lat. It landed, at a place which was called Jamestown, on the 13th of May 1607, and resulted in the establishment of many plantations along the James river. The purpose of the company was to build up a profitable commercial and agricultural community; but the hostility of the natives, unfavourable climatic conditions and the character of the colonists delayed the growth of the new community. John Smith became the head of the government in September 1608, compelled the colonists to submit to law and order, built a church and prepared for more extensive agricultural and fishing operations. In 1609 the London Company was reorganized, other colonists were sent out and the boundaries of the new country were fixed, according to which Virginia was to extend from a point 200 m. south of Old Point Comfort, at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, to another point 200 m. north, “west and northwest to the South Sea.”
The government of the country was in the hands of the London Company, which in turn committed administrative and local affairs to a governor and council who were to reside in the colony. Before the arrival of the “government” and their shiploads of settlers the original colony was reduced to the direst straits. Captain Christopher Newport (d. 1618), Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, the new authorities, reached Jamestown at last with 150 men, but finding things in such a deplorable state all agreed (June 10, 1610) to give up the effort to found a colony on the James and set sail for Newfoundland. At the mouth of the river they met Lord Delaware, however, who brought other colonists and plentiful supplies; and they returned, set up a trading post at what is now Hampton and undertook to bring the hostile natives to subjection. In 1611, 650 additional colonists landed, the James and Appomattox rivers were explored and “plantations” were established at Henrico and New Bermuda. In 1617 Virginia fell into the hands of a rigid Puritan, Captain Samuel Argall. The colonists were compelled on pain of death to accept the doctrine of the trinity, respect the authority of the Bible and attend church. This rigid regime was superseded in 1619 by a milder system under Sir George Yeardley (d. 1627). Twelve hundred new colonists arrived in 1619. At the same time negro slaves and many “indentured” servants were imported as labourers.
At the beginning Virginia colonists had held their land and improvements in common. But in 1616 the land was parcelled out and the settlers were scattered along the shores of the James and Appomattox rivers many miles inland. Twenty thousand pounds of tobacco were exported in 1619. The community had now become self-supporting, and the year that witnessed these changes witnessed also the first representative assembly in North America, the Virginia House of Burgesses, a meeting of planters sent from the plantations to assist the governor in reforming and remaking the laws of the colony. In 1621 a constitution was granted whereby the London Company appointed the governor and a council, and the people were to choose annually from their counties, towns, hundreds and plantations delegates to the House of Burgesses. The popular assembly, like the English House of Commons, granted supplies and originated laws, and the governor and Council enjoyed the right of revision and veto as did the king and the House of Lords at home. The Council sat also as a supreme court to review the county courts. This system remained unchanged until the revolution of 1776. But in 1624 the king took the place and exercised the authority of the London Company.
Before 1622 there was a population of more than 4000 in Virginia, and the many tribes of Indians who were still the proprietors of the soil over a greater portion of the country naturally became jealous, and on the 22nd of March of that year fell upon the whites and slew 350 persons. Sickness and famine once again visited the colony, and the population was reduced by nearly one-half. These losses were repaired, however; the tobacco industry grew in importance, and the settlers built their cabins far in the interior of lowland Virginia. This rapid growth was scarcely retarded by a second Indian attack, in April 1641, which resulted in the death of about 350 settlers. By 1648 the population had increased to 15,000.
Virginia was neither cavalier nor roundhead, but both. Sir William Berkeley had been the governor since 1641, and though he was loyal enough to the crown, it was without difficulty that his authority was overthrown in March 1652 and that of Cromwell proclaimed in its stead. Richard Bennett, a Puritan from Maryland, now ruled the province. Bennett and his Puritan successors, Edward Digges and Samuel Mathews, made no serious change in the administration of the colony except to extend greatly the elective franchise. But this policy was reversed in 1660, when Berkeley was restored to power. The return of Berkeley was the beginning of a reaction which concentrated authority, both in the House of Burgesses and in the Council, in the hands of the older families, and thus created a privileged class. The governor, supported by the great families, retained the same House of Burgesses for sixteen years lest a new one might not be submissive. The increasing mass of the population dwelt along the western border or on the less fertile ridges which make up the major part of the land even in tide-water Virginia. These poorer people—who were not, however, “poor whites”—developed an abiding hostility towards the oligarchy. They desired a freer land-grant system, protection against the inroads of the Indians along the border, and frequent sessions of an assembly to be chosen by all the freeholders. But a new code of laws outlawed many of these people as dissenters, and in 1676 a burdensome tax was laid by the unrepresentative assembly. The Indians had again attacked the border farmers, and the governor had refused assistance, being willing, it was generally believed, that the border population should suffer while he and his adherents enjoyed a lucrative fur trade with the Indians. Under these circumstances, Nathaniel Bacon (1647–1676), whose grandfather was a cousin of Francis Bacon, took up the cause of the borderers and severely punished the Indians at the battle of Bloody Run. But Berkeley meanwhile had outlawed Bacon, whose forces now marched on the capital demanding recognition as the authorized army of defence. This was refused, and civil war began, in which the governor was defeated and Jamestown was burned. But Bacon fell a victim to malaria and died in October in Gloucester county. Berkeley closed the conflict with wholesale executions and confiscations. Censured by the king, he sailed to England to make his defence, but died in London in 1677 without having seen Charles. Virginia remained in the hands of the reactionary party and was governed by men whose primary purpose was to “make their fortunes” at the expense of the colonials. Even the accession of William and Mary scarcely affected the fortunes of the “fifth kingdom,” though Middle Plantation, a hamlet not far from Jamestown, became Williamsburg and the capital of the province in 1691, and the clergy received a head, though not a bishop, in the person of James Blair (1656-1743), an able Scottish churchman, who as commissary of the bishop of London became a counterpoise to the arbitrary governors, and who as founder and head of the College of William and Mary (established at Williamsburg in 1693) did valiant service for Virginia. Under the stimulus of Blair's activity religion and education prospered as never before. The powers and duties of the vestry were defined, the position of the parish priest was fixed and his salary was regularly provided for at the public expense, and pedagogues were brought over from Scotland.
By 1700 the population of Virginia had reached 70,000, of whom 20,000 were negro slaves. The great majority of whites were small farmers whose condition was anything but desirable and who constantly encroached upon the Indian lands in the Rappahannock region or penetrated the forests south of the James, several thousand having reached North Carolina. Between 1707 and 1740 many Scottish immigrants, traders, teachers and tobacco-growers settled along the upper Rappahannock, and, uniting with the borderers in general, they offered strong resistance to the older planters on the James and the York.
Tobacco-growing was the one vocation of Virginia, and many of the planters were able to spend their winters in London or Glasgow and to send their sons and daughters to the finishing schools of the mother country. Negro slavery grew so rapidly during the first half of the eighteenth century that the blacks outnumbered the whites in 1740. The master of slaves set the fashion. Handsome houses were built along the banks of the sluggish rivers, and numerous slaves were employed. There was as great a social distance between the planters and their families on the one side and the masses of people in Virginia on the other as that which separated the nobles from the yeomanry in Europe; and there was still another chasm between the small farmers and the negroes.
In 1716 an expedition of Governor Alexander Spotswood over the mountains advertised to the world the rich back-country, now known as the Valley of Virginia; a migration thither from Pennsylvania and from Europe followed which revolutionised the province. The majority of blacks over whites soon gave way before the influx of white immigrants, and in 1756 there was a population of 292,000, of whom only 120,000 were negroes, and the small farmer class had grown so rapidly that the old tide-water aristocracy was in danger of being overwhelmed. The “West” had now appeared in American history. This first West, made up of the older small farmers, of the Scottish settlers, of the Germans from the Palatinate and the Scottish-Irish, far outnumbering the people of the old counties, demanded the creation of new counties and proportionate representation in the Burgesses. They did not at first succeed, but when the Seven Years' War came on they proved their worth by fighting the battles of the community against the Indians and the French. When the war was over the prestige of the up-country had been greatly enhanced, and its people soon found eastern leaders in the persons of Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry. In 1763-1765 an investigation of the finances of the colony, forced by the up-country party, showed widespread corruption, and resulted in the collapse of the tide-water oligarchy, which had been in power since 1660. In the meantime the Presbyterians, who had been officially recognized in Virginia under the Toleration Act in 1699, and had been guaranteed religious autonomy in the Valley by Governor Gooch in 1738, had sent missionaries into the border counties of eastern Virginia. The Baptists about the same time entered the colony both from the north and the south and established scores of churches. The new denominations vigorously attacked the methods and immunities of the established church, whose clergy had grown lukewarm in zeal and lax in morals. When the clergy, refusing to acknowledge the authority of the Burgesses in reducing their stipends, and, appealing to the king against the Assembly, entered the courts to recover damages from the vestries, Patrick Henry at Hanover court in 1763 easily convinced the jury and the people that the old church was well-nigh worthless. From this time the old order was doomed, for the up-country, the dissenters and the reformers had combined against it. But the passage of the Stamp Act hastened the catastrophe and gave the leaders of the new combination, notably Henry, an opportunity to humiliate the British ministry, whom not even the tide-water party could defend. The repeal of the Stamp Act, followed as it was by the Townshend scheme of indirect taxation, displeased Virginia quite as much as had the former more direct system of taxation. When the Burgesses undertook in May 1769 to declare in vigorous resolutions that the right and power of taxation, direct and indirect, rested with the local assembly, the governor hastily dissolved them, but only to find the same men assembling in the Raleigh tavern in Williamsburg and issuing forth their resolutions in defiance of executive authority. Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee, with Thomas Jefferson, a new up-country leader of great ability, were the leaders.
In 1774 Lord Dunmore, the governor, led an army to the Ohio river to break an Indian coalition which had been formed to check the rapid expansion of Virginia over what is now Kentucky and West Virginia. The up-country again furnished the troops and did the fighting at Point Pleasant (q.v.), where on the 10th of October the power of the Indians was completely broken. But the struggle with England had reached a crisis, and Virginia supported with zeal the revolutionary movement and took the lead in the Continental Congresses which directed the succeeding war (see United States). In 1775 Patrick Henry organized a regiment of militia and compelled the governor to seek safety on board an English man-of-war in Chesapeake Bay. The war now assumed continental proportions, and the Virginia leaders decided in May 1776 that a declaration of independence was necessary to secure foreign assistance. When the Continental Congress issued the famous Declaration Virginia had already assembled in convention to draft a new Constitution. Although Henry, Lee and Jefferson exercised great power, they were unable to secure a Constitution which embodied the demands of their party: universal suffrage, proportional representation and religious freedom. A draft for such a Constitution was submitted by Jefferson, but the Conservatives rejected it. The system which was adopted allowed the older counties, which must be conciliated, a large majority of the representatives in the new Assembly, on the theory that the preponderance of property (slavery) in that section required this as security against the rising democracy. In place of the former governor, there was to be an executive chosen annually by the Assembly; the old Council was to be followed by a similar body elected by the Assembly; and the judges were likewise to be the creatures of the legislature. The Assembly was divided into two bodies, a Senate and a House of Delegates. The legislature would be all-powerful, and yet representation was so distributed that about one-third of the voters living in the tide-water region would return nearly two-thirds of the members of the legislature. The franchise, though not universal, was generously bestowed; it was a very liberal freehold system.
The recruiting ground for the American army in Virginia was the up-country among the Scottish-Irish and the Germans who had long fought the older section of the colony. In 1779 Norfolk was again attacked, and great damage was also done to the neighbouring towns. In January 1781 Benedict Arnold captured Richmond and compelled governor and legislature to flee beyond the Blue Ridge mountains, where one session of the Assembly was held. The last campaign of the war closed at Yorktown on the 19th of October 1781.
Virginia leaders, including Henry, were the first to urge the formation of a national government with adequate powers to supersede the lame confederacy. In 1787, under the presidency of Washington, the National Convention sat in Philadelphia, with the result that the present Federal Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification during 1787–1789. In Virginia the tide-water leaders urged adoption, while the upcountry men, following Henry, opposed; but after a long and a bitter struggle, in the summer of 1788 the new instrument was accepted, the low-country winning by a majority of ten votes, partly through the influence of James Madison. Thus the eastern men, who had reluctantly supported the War of Independence, now became the sponsors for the national government, and Washington was compelled to rely on the party of slavery, not only in Virginia but in the whole South, in order to administer the affairs of the nation.
In 1784, Virginia, after some hesitation, ceded to the Federal government the north-west territory, which it held under the charter of 1609; in 1792 another large strip of the territory of Virginia became an independent state under the name of Kentucky. But the people of these cessions, especially of Kentucky, were closely allied to the great up-country party of Virginia, and altogether they formed the basis of the Jeffersonian democracy, which from 1794 opposed the chief measures of the Washington administration, and which on the passage of the Alien and Sedition laws in 1798 precipitated the first great constitutional crisis in Federal politics by the adoption in the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures of the resolutions, known by the names of those states, strongly asserting the right and duty of the states to arrest the course of the national government whenever in their opinions that course had become unconstitutional. Jefferson was the author of the Kentucky resolutions, and his friend Madison prepared those passed by the Virginia Assembly. But these leaders restrained their followers sharply whenever the suggestion of secession was made, and the question of what was meant by arresting the course of Federal legislation was left in doubt. The election of 1800 rendered unnecessary ah further agitation by putting Jefferson in the President's chair. The up-country party in Virginia, with their allies along the frontiers of the other states, was now in power, and the radical of 1776 shaped the policy of the nation during the next twenty-five years. Virginia held the position of leadership in Congress, controlled the cabinet and supplied many justices of the Supreme Court.
Virginia played a leading rôle in the War of 1812, and up to 1835 her influence in the new Western and North-Western states was overwhelming. But the steady growth of slavery in the East and of a virile democracy in the West neutralized this influence and compelled the assembling of the constitutional convention of 1829, whose purpose was to revise the fundamental law in such a way as to give the more populous counties of the West their legitimate weight in the legislature. The result was failure, for the democracy of small farmers which would have taxed slavery out of existence was denied proportionate representation. The slave insurrection under Nat Turner (q.v.) in 1831 led to a second abortive effort, this time by the legislature, to do away with the fateful institution. The failure of these popular movements led to a sharp reaction in Virginia, as in the whole South, in favour of slavery. From 1835 to 1861 many leading Virginians defended slavery as a blessing and as part of a divinely established order.
In 1850 a third Convention undertook to amend the Constitution, and now that the West yielded its bitter hostility to slavery, representation was so arranged that the more populous section was enabled to control the House while the East still held the Senate; the election of judges was confided to the people; and the suffrage was broadened. Although the West was not pleased, the leaders of the slave-holding counties threatened secession.
In the national elections of 1860 Virginia returned a majority of unionist electors as against the secession candidates, Breckinridge and Lane, many of the large planters voting for the continuance of the Union, and many of the smaller slave-owners supporting the secessionists. The governor called an extra session of the legislature soon after the Federal election, and this in turn called a Convention to meet on the 13th of February 1861. The majority of this body consisted of Unionists, but the Convention passed the ordinance of secession when the Federal government (April 17) called upon the state to supply its quota of armed men to suppress “insurrection” in the lower Southern states. An alliance was made with the provisional government of the Confederate States, on April 25, without waiting for the vote of the people on the ordinance. The Convention called out 10,000 troops and appointed Colonel Robert E. Lee of the United States army as commander-in-chief. On the 23rd of May the people of the eastern counties almost unanimously voted approval of the acts of the Convention, and the western counties took steps to form the state of West Virginia (q.v.). Richmond soon became the capital of the Confederacy. The Civil War was already begun, and Virginia was of necessity the battle-ground. Of the six great impacts made upon the Confederacy, four were upon Virginian soil: the first Manassas campaign (1861), the Peninsular battles (1862), second Manassas (1862), Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville (1862–63) and the great Wilderness-Petersburg series of attacks (1864–65). About 50,000 men were killed in Virginia, and probably 100,000 died of wounds and disease. The principal battles were: the first Manassas, or Bull Run (July 21, 1861); those around Richmond (June 26–July 2, 1862); second Manassas (August 29–30); Fredericksburg (December 12, 1862); Mechanicsville (May 2 and 3, 1863); the Wilderness (May 5 and 6); Spottsylvania (May 8); North Anna and Belhesda church (May 29–30); Cold Harbor (June 3); the battles around Petersburg (June 15, July 30 and November 1, 1864); and Five Forks (April 1) and Appomattox (April 8–9, 1865).
With the surrender of the Confederate army under General Lee to Grant at Appomattox the task of reconstruction began. President Lincoln offered a very liberal plan of re-establishing the civil authority over the counties east of the Alleghany mountains, and Governor Francis H. Pierpont set up in Richmond a government, based upon the Lincoln plan and supported by President Johnson, which continued till the 2nd of March 1867, when the famous reconstruction order converting the state into Military District No. 1 was issued. General John M. Schofield was put in charge, and under his authority a constitutional Convention was summoned which bestowed the suffrage upon the former slaves, who, led by a small group of whites, who had come into the state with the invading armies, ratified the 14th and 15th amendments to the Federal Constitution and governed the community until 1869. Then the secessionists and Union men of 1861 united and regained control. Virginia was readmitted to the Union on the 26th of January 1870. The Constitution of the reconstruction years was unchanged until 1902, when the present fundamental law was adopted.
In national elections the state has supported the Democratic party, except in 1860, when its vote was cast for John Bell, the candidate of the Constitutional Union party.
|Governors of Virginia|
|Under the Company|
|Edward Maria Wingfield, President of the Council||1607 (April to Sept.)|
|John Ratcliffe, President of the Council||1607–1608|
|John Smith, President of the Council||1608–1609|
|George Percy, President of the Council||1609–1610|
|Thomas West, Lord Delaware, “Governor and Captain General”||1610–1618|
|George Percy, Deputy Governor||1611 (March to May)|
|Sir Thomas Dale, “High Marshal” and Deputy Governor||1611 (May to Aug.)|
|Sir Thomas Gates, Acting Governor||1611–1612|
|Sir Thomas Dale, Acting Governor||1612–1616|
|George Yeardley, Lieutenant or Deputy Governor||1616–1617|
|Samuel Argall, Lieutenant or Deputy Governor||1617–1619|
|Nathaniel Powell, Acting Governor||1619 (April 9 to 19)|
|Sir George Yeardley, Governor||1619–1621|
|Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor||1621–1624|
|Under the Crown|
|Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor||1624–1626|
|Sir George Yeardley, Governor||1626–1627|
|Francis West (elected by Council)||1627–1628|
|John Pott (elected by Council)||1628–1629|
|Sir John Harvey, Governor||1629–1635|
|John West (elected by Council)||1635–1636|
|Sir John Harvey, Governor||1636–1639|
|Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor||1639–1641|
|Sir William Berkeley, Governor||1641–1644|
|Richard Kemp (elected by Council)||1644–1645|
|Sir William Berkeley, Governor||1645–1652|
|Under the Commonwealth|
|Richard Bennett(elected by General Assembly)||1652–1655|
|Edward Digges (elected by House of Burgesses)||1655–1657|
|Samuel Mathews (elected by House of Burgesses)||1657–1660|
|Under the Crown|
|Sir William Berkeley, Governor||1660–1677|
|Francis Morrison (or Moryson), Deputy Governor||1661–1662|
|Herbert Jeffreys, Lieutenant Governor||1677–1678|
|Sir Henry Chicheley, Deputy Governor||1678–1680|
|Thomas, Lord Culpeper, Governor||1680–1683|
|Nicholas Spencer, President of the Council||1683–1684|
|Francis, Lord Howard of Effingham, Lieutenant Governor||1684–1687|
|Nathaniel Bacon, President of the Council||1687–1690|
|Francis Nicholson, Lieutenant Governor||1690–1692|
|Sir Edmund Andros, Governor||1692–1698|
|Francis Nicholson, Lieutenant Governor||1698–1704|
|George Hamilton Douglas, Earl of Orkney, Governor-in-Chief||1704–1737|
|Edward Nott, Lieutenant Governor||1705–1706|
|Edmund Jenings, President of the Council||1706–1710|
|Robert Hunter, Lieutenant Governor||1707|
|Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor||1710–1722|
|Hugh Drysdale, Lieutenant Governor||1722–1726|
|Robert Carter, President of the Council||1726–1727|
|William Gooch, Lieutenant Governor||1727–1740|
|William Anne Keppel, Earl of Albemarle, Governor-in-Chief||1737–1754|
|James Blair, President of the Council||1740–1741|
|Sir William Gooch, Governor||1741–1749|
|John Robinson, President of the Council||1749 (June to Sept.)|
|Thomas Lee, President of the Council||1749–1750|
|Lewis Burwell, President of the Council||1750–1751|
|Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant Governor||1751–1758|
|John Campbell, Earl of London, Governor General of the American Colonies||1756–1763|
|John Blair, President of the Council||1758 (Jan. to June)|
|Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor||1758–1768|
|Sir Jeffrey Amherst, Governor-in-Chief||1763–1768|
|John Blair, President of the Council||1768 (March to Oct.)|
|Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, Governor-in-Chief||1768–1770|
|William Nelson, President of the Council||1770–1771|
|John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, Governor-in-Chief||1771–1775|
|Thomas Nelson, jun.||1781|
|James Wood,||Democratic Republican||1796–1799|
|William H. Cabell,||””||1805–1808|
|John Tyler, sen.,||””||1808–1811|
|George Wm. Smith (acting),||Democratic Republican||1811|
|Peyton Randolph (acting)||1811–1812|
|Wilson Cary Nicholas,||Republican||1814–1816|
|James Patton Preston,||”||1816–1819|
|Thomas Mann Randolph,||”||1819–1822|
|James Pleasants, jun.,||”||1822–1825|
|John Tyler,||State Rights Democrat||1825–1827|
|William Branch Giles,||Democrat||1827–1830|
|Littleton Waller Tazewell,||Democrat||1834–1836|
|Wyndham Robertson (acting),||Democrat||1836–1837|
|Thomas W. Gilmer,||Whig||1840–1841|
|John M. Patton (acting),||”||1841|
|John Rutherford (acting),||”||1841–1842|
|John Munford Gregory (acting),||Whig||1842–1843|
|John Buchanan Floyd,||Democrat||1849–1852|
|Henry Alexander Wise,||”||1856–1860|
|Francis H. Pierpont (provisional),||Republican||1865–1867|
|Henry Horatio Wells, (provisional),||”||1868–1870|
|Gilbert Carlton Walker,||”||1870–1874|
|James Lawson Kemper,||Conservative||1874–1878|
|Frederick Wm. Mackey Holliday,||“Debt-Paying”||1878–1882|
|William Ewan Cameron,||Readjuster||1882–1886|
|Philip W. McKinney,||Democrat||1890–1894|
|Charles Triplett O'Ferrall,||Democrat||1894–1898|
|James Hoge Tyler,||”||1898–1902|
|Andrew Jackson Montague,||”||1902–1906|
|Claude Augustus Swanson,||”||1906–1910|
|William Hodges Mann,||”||1910|
Bibliography.—For physical description see Henry Gannett, Gazetteer of Virginia (Washington, 1904), U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 232; W. B. Rogers, Geology of the Virginias (New York, 1884); N. H. Darton and M. L. Fuller in Water Supply and Irrigation Paper No. 114 (Washington, 1905) of the U.S. Geological Survey; G. T. Surface, “Physiography of Virginia,” pp. 741–53, vol. 38 (1906), Bulletin, Am. Geog. Soc., and “Geography of Virginia,” pp. 1–60, vol. 5 (1907), Bulletin, Philadelphia Geog. Soc.; T. L. Watson et all., Mineral Resources of Virginia (Lynchburg, 1907). On fisheries see the Report of the Commission of Fisheries, 1908–9 (Richmond, 1909). For administration see J. G. Pollard (ed.), Code of Virginia (2 vols., St Paul, 1904); and on finance, W. L. Royall, History of the Virginia Debt Controversy (Richmond, 1897). History.—General histories are: Robert Beverley, History of Virginia in Four Parts (Richmond, 1855); R. R. Howison, History of Virginia (2 vols., ibid., 1849); S. Kercheval, History of the Valley of Virginia (Woodstock, Va., 1850); and J. E. Cook, Virginia: a History of the People (Boston, 1900). On the earlier period see W. A. Clayton Torrence, “A Trial Bibliography of Colonial Virginia” (Richmond, 1910), in the Report of the Virginia State Librarian; L. G. Tyler (ed.), Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606–25 (New York, 1907); W. Stith, History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia (ibid., 1865); Susan M. Kingsbury (ed.), Records of the Virginia Company of London (2 vols., Washington, 1906); Alexander Brown, The First Republic in America (Boston, 1898); idem (ed.), Genesis of the United States (2 vols., ibid., 1890), J. S. Bassett, The Writings of Colonel William Byrd of Westover (New York, 1901); John Fiske, Old Virginia and her Neighbors (ibid., 1897); P. A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., New York, 1895); J. P. Kennedy and H. R. McIlwaine, Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1742–76 (Richmond, 1905–7); Charles Campbell, History of the Colony and Ancient Dominion of Virginia (Philadelphia, 1859); E. I. Miller, Legislature of the Province of Virginia (New York, 1908); and, for religious and social conditions, Rt. Rev. W. Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia (ibid., 1857); and H. J. Eckenrode, “Separation of Church and State in Virginia” (Richmond, 1909) in the 5th Report of the Virginia State Librarian. For the more recent period see Chas. H. Ambler, Sectionalism in Virginia 1770–1861 (Chicago, 1910), a valuable study; P. L. Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson (10 vols., New York, 1892–99); W. C. Ford, Writings of George Washington (14 vols., ibid., 1889–93); W. W. Henry, Life, Correspondence and Speeches of Patrick Henry (3 vols., ibid., 1891); J. Elliott, Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia, 1861); T. R. Dew, Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature, 1831–32 (Richmond, 1832), important for a comprehension of the slavery issue; J. C. Ballagh, A History of Slavery in Virginia (Baltimore, 1902); B. B. Munford, Virginia’s Attitude toward Slavery (New York, 1909), and the Debates of the Virginia Conventions, 1776, 1829, 1850, which are very important, especially for 1829. See also R. A. Brock (ed.), Virginia Historical Collections (11 vols., Richmond, 1882–92); P. A. Bruce and W. G. Stanard, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (ibid., 1893 sqq.); W. W, Hening, The Statutes at Large (13 vols, ibid., 1819–23); and W. P. Palmer, Calendar of Virginia State Papers (11 vols., ibid., 1874).
|CARL HENTSCHEL LTD|
- Statistics for 1890 represent the value of all manufactures; those for 1900 (from this point) and 1905 show values under the factory system, excluding neighbourhood industries and hand trades.
- According to previous censuses the population was as follows: (1790), 747,610; (1800), 880,200; (1810), 974,600; (1820), 1,065,366; (1830), 1,211,405; (1840), 1,239,797; (1850), 1,421,661; (1860), 1,596,318; (1870), 1,225,163; (1880), 1,512,565.
- Never in Virginia.